For many convenience store retailers, beer caves can help make your convenience store a destination for beer and allow space for increased cold inventory.
Many retailers found their beer caves to be an asset during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic when customers were opting to stock up on big packs and cases of beer, and the beer caves allowed the space to hold extra inventory to keep pace with the surge in demand.
But before adding a beer cave, convenience stores need to decide if a beer cave has the potential to improve their store’s bottom line enough to justify the cost of adding one to the store. Not all convenience stores will see a boost from adding a beer cave, but if you already have a steady stream of beer customers and your store is positioned in an area where there is a clear demand for beer, it’s worth exploring if a beer cave could be right for your location.
Once you’ve done your due diligence and determined that a beer cave has the potential to boost beer sales at your location, the next consideration is size. The size of your beer cave is going to depend on a number of factors, including space available in the store, the ideal placement of the cave and the opportunity for growing beer sales in your specific store.
Beer cave design is also a key consideration. In fact, modern beer caves today don’t resemble “caves” at all. They’re often positioned to draw customers into the store and feature glass walls to show off the inventory at a glance as well as attention-getting signage to attract customer interest. Without a modern, upscale design, your beer cave sales could fall flat. Don’t neglect this all- important step to carrying your beer cave across the finish line.
Determining the correct beer assortment for your store’s demographic is also key to growing sales. Remember that every store is different. Even if most of your locations do a huge business in craft beer, another location may do better with domestic beer or imports. Work with your beer supplier to find the best mix for your store, and if something isn’t moving replace it quickly. Don’t allow non-movers to take up valuable space in your beer cave.
Deciding on the correct temperature to keep beer cold and maintaining that temperature consistently is important in ensuring a high-quality experience and so customers know what to expect every time they stop into your store. Are you keeping craft beer in your beer cave? Different types of beers have different optimal temperatures, so speak with your beer suppliers and beer cave equipment provider to determine the best temperature for your cave.
If you’re adding a beer cave, promotion is a crucial step. Tell customers about the offering via signage and social media posts. If you’re selling cold beer, let customers know that. If you have an expanded inventory, promote it so that shoppers know. Half the battle is making sure customers are aware of the new expanded beer offering and that it’s top of mind, so the next time they are looking for ice-cold beer, they think of your convenience store location.